Recipient: Mrs. Orna Goldberg
Number of years teaching: 22
School: Associated Hebrew Day School—Kamin Branch
Inspiration/Motivation for being a Teacher of Excellence:
Orna’s number one goal is to boost kids’ self esteem. She views each child as an individual and finds positive things in them, and then dwells on these and helps to fix what may be weak. She waits for the moment when a child is stepping out of their comfort zone and then applauses, praises and lets the parents know. Being in very close touch with parents is essential to her. She tries to convey to parents how their child is valuable, and how they are being celebrated and helped.
Orna believes that Jewish education and the Hebrew language are essential. She makes learning fun by using music, art, charity, games and fundraising.
While living in Texas 15 years ago, she felt isolated until the Jewish community embraced her. She determined to return to Toronto and model that generous, invitational, inclusive and kind treatment to her students and their families.
Parents Barbie and Yossi wrote this about Mrs. Goldberg:
We are nominating Mrs. Goldberg because of her genuine love and dedication for the children and her hard-working work ethic in understanding that what is best for students’ leaning is not necessarily what is easiest for the teacher. She is very eager and open to creativity in both her teaching style and approach. He creative, non-judgemental, non-threatening approach invites students into an emotionally safe learning environment, fundamental in building self-esteem and establishing self-confidence.
Our daughter changed schools midyear and Mrs. Goldberg has given her a different, very warm, loving and accepting experience of Hebrew learning and Judaic studies. She has improved beyond measure and far more importantly, so has her confidence.
So thank you Mrs. Goldberg. We are so grateful to you for giving your students and our daughter what all students deserve: a teacher who has the courage to go beyond what is conventional and into that all too often ignore territory—the extra mile!